Michael Bremont, 39, the Redmond Proficiency Academy former Director accused of rape and sex abuse involving a student, was arraigned on Wednesday and granted permission to leave jail and live with relatives near Portland.
On Monday, a Grand Jury returned a 14 count indictment against the Bremont, according to our news partner- News Channel 21.
Circuit Court Judge Steven Forte approved Bremont's new release conditions: he will be under house arrest in a relatives house in West Linn and be strictly watched with a GPS monitoring device. With the new conditions, Bremont still cannot leave the state, is forbidden to contact the alleged victim, any minors, other than his own children or any employees of the Academy.
Bremont's plea hearing is set for April ninth.
The big winter storm caused several accidents today throughout Central Oregon. Highway 97 near Chemult was closed for several hours because of crashes and near Warm Springs. Highway 26 was closed for about an hour due to an accident involving a semi. There were several minor accidents around Bend as well. Deschutes County Sheriff Larry Blanton says many crashes can be avoided if drivers would just slow down. "Driving too fast for conditions and having too much faith and confidence in your own driving on slicker icy roads and just because you have a four wheel drive doesn't mean that you'll be able to avoid something in front of you, or an evasive move. So everyone has to be more patient on the slick roads. Drive well enough ahead of yourself, and help someone else if they need help; and drive in the 'good stuff'.” Sheriff Blanton says that means you need to stay off of the "slick" polished off areas of highway and avoid ruts. He says you should also try to stay away from piled up snow between lanes, as lane changes on snow can often pitch people sideways or into the oncoming lanes.
Lawmakers will continue to meet tomorrow, going past their goal of ending February 29th. State Representative Gene Whisnant of Sunriver says he says its tough to get everything accomplished in such a short time frame. "This short session, which I opposed, annual session. But if we're going to have annual sessions, 35 days is not enough time to adequately address difficult policy issues. I am going to propose for next session that there be no individual bills, just Committee bills, because a lot of bills that were introduced were for political campaigns and not for helping Oregonians.” Whisnant says he likes the bi-partisan budget plan lawmakers came up with. He's especially glad they kept an emergency fund intact to help weather another economic storm in Oregon.
State Representative Gene Whisnant of Sunriver is being targeted by "Occupy" members for his association with the American Legislative Exchange Council; a well-known free-market non-profit group. Whisnant calls the criticism of ALEC a smear campaign from the left. He says in a very public process the non-profit group suggests what they call "model" legislation to promote economic development and other "free-market" principals: "One of their charges is that corporations are sneaking this legislation through, but all of their task forces are made up of public and private members. Some I've voted for and some I've voted against." He says the non-profit group is a conservative organization that has members from both parties.
If you thought the weekend's storm was bad; hold on to your hats. Mark Thibodeau with the Weather Channel says the snow that's falling now is going to get heavier. "Winter storm warning continues until 10 o'clock on Wednesday [evening]. And I really think the worst of the weather is going to be during the; starting up in the wee morning hours and then lasting through the daytime on Wednesday; and then improving into tomorrow night. But then, snow accumulations could be heavy, anywhere from 6 to 12 inches of snow, the way it looks out of this one. The heaviest amounts of course are going to be in the typical spots." Thibodeau says the temperatures won't warm up much either, and that means roads will be icy. "The winds are kind of going to be gusty too with this one. They’re kind of wound up on the weather map, with the pressure gradients, the winds are going to be gusting maybe 25-30 mph; that could create some blowing and drifting. And the roads are going to get hazardous with this one, as temperatures go below freezing, I do think that we could be talking about some slick roadways. Now we are going to make the upper 30's for the high Wednesday, so we'll see some melting. as we plummet down to 20 degrees Wednesday night, again, as we always say, and liquid spots are up for a refreeze." Thibodeau says the winter storm warning is in effect until 10 o'clock Wednesday night. The good news is: we should dry out by Saturday and have a pretty warm weekend.
The Deschutes County Dog Control Board will hold hearings on Wednesday at 5:30 PM, to discuss the incidents of two killings of livestock by dogs. The first incident happened in Bend near Sisemore Road on February 23rd, where a yellow dog and brown dog chased and killed chickens. The second incident happened in La Pine also on the 23rd near Union Road, where two boxer dogs chase and killed chickens as well. If you are interested in these cases anyone can appear at the hearings and offer testimony regarding the allegations.
It's National Pancake Day, and IHOP is offering a free short stack to its guests. In return for the buttermilk flapjacks, you'll be asked to consider leaving a donation for Children's Miracle Network hospitals and other designated local charities. National Pancake Day has raised nearly $8 million for charity since 2006. The offer is good from 7 am to 10 pm. For details, visit ihoppancakeday.com.
The Oregon Government Ethics Commission approved a settlement yesterday in an ethics case in La Pine. Former La Pine Water District Commissioner Barbe Ann Nelson-Dodson admitted she broke state laws when she used district employees and equipment for personal gain. An article in The Bulletin says she took advantage of her position to bury her dog in 2009 and participated in several official discussions about her daughter's job at the district. The settlement calls for Nelson-Dodson to pay a $400 civil penalty, much less than the $20,000 fine allowed by state law.
The Executive Director of the Downtown Bend Business Association says some changes in how downtown parking spots are managed are coming soon. Chuck Arnold says its important that the best on-street parking is properly managed. "On street parking spaces are worth $30,000 a year in sales and its crucial that we keep that turnover." For more details on parking in downtown Bend, you can go to this website www.downtownbend.org.
La Pine has only been a city for a couple years, and they're continuing to experience growing pains. The city's new City Manager Steve Hasson started last week. He sees several challenges ahead. “The City hasn't been a City before; and it now has a lot of power, but doesn't have a lot of revenue sources, no experience, no institutional memory. We’ve got to cautiously decide what we need to take on. And we should take them on to our ability in terms of resources and wherewithal.” Hasson says he would like the City to take over land use processes from Deschutes County and Code Enforcement to start.
Outdoors recreationists have a chance to weigh in on how the Oregon Badlands wilderness could be managed. Lisa Clark with the Bureau of Land Management says the popular wilderness site draws a lot of locals and visitors to the beauty of the area, but keeping it in the best shape; they need a plan. "Well, with the designation of a Wilderness, we've removed the option of allowing motorized use out there, so that's an option that's off the table. However, we are looking at different ways that people can hike, ride horses, where should we be doing restoration to improve the wilderness character, where should those trails or trailheads be? So we need more or less? So that's the kind of information that we're looking for from people." Clark says there will still be access off of Highway 20, but only to a point. You will need to travel on foot or horseback through most of the area. The "public scoping" meeting is March first at the Riverbend Community Room at the Bend Parks and Rec office, from 6-30 to 8 p.m.
An owners' attempt to burn some weeds and grass got out of hand Friday, burning a single story barn in Redmond. Around 4 p.m., Redmond Fire is called to a fire on southwest McVey Avenue, where embers from the fire had apparently ignited the base of an exterior wall of the barn. The Redmond Fire report states that the wind contributed to the spread of the fire. There was an estimated $7,000 lost to the building and contents. No one was injured.
Updating you on a story we brought to you Friday afternoon; a suspect was apprehended in the apparent burglary and subsequent school lock down. Police received information linking John Brady Vance, 30, of Bend to the stolen property. Students at Sky View Middle and Lava Ridge Schools in northeast Bend were under a lock down for about 45 minutes Friday afternoon. School Resource Officer Kecia Weaver explains what happened: "There was a vehicle located in the parking lot of Sky View Middle School that had been reported as having been taken from a burglary in a nearby area this afternoon. And so, as a precaution, Deschutes County Sheriffs Office and Bend PD, while investigating that crime, decided to lockdown both schools while we looked for the suspect in the area of the school." Around 12:20 p.m., with guns drawn, officers swarmed the area looking for the burglary suspect, causing some excitement with the students.
Weaver says the kids do go through drills and knew exactly what to do.
Meanwhile, Vance is charged with burglary, unlawful use of a vehicle and theft and is lodged in the Deschutes County Jail.
Iif you have any information - contact the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office. (541-693-6911)
Students at Sky View Middle and Lava Ridge Schools in northeast Bend were under a lock down for about 45 minutes this afternoon. School Resource Officer Kecia Weaver explains what happened. "There was a vehicle located in the parking lot of Sky View Middle School that had been reported as having been taken from a burglary in a nearby area this afternoon. And so as a precaution, Deschutes County Sheriffs Office and Bend PD, while investigating that crime, decided to lockdown both schools while we looked for the suspect in the area of the school." Around 12:20 p.m., with guns drawn, officers swarmed the area looking for the burglary suspect; causing some excitement with the students. Weaver says the kids do go through drills and knew exactly what to do. The suspect is still at large. He's described as 6’1”, 160 pounds and heavily tattooed. If you have any information, contact the Deschutes County Sheriff. (541-693-6911).
Bend financial advisor Troy Reinhart was one of about 300 local business leaders and others who attended the Bend Chamber 2012 Real Estate Forecast Breakfast this morning. He says he left the meeting encouraged and feeling bullish about the local real estate market. One topic that was raised was the impression that more people are leaving Central Oregon than coming in: “One of the questions was: a realtor in the audience asked when is the mass exodus of people leaving going to end. And both the speakers were puzzled because really even during the worst of this we having had a loss of population here in Central Oregon, but what people are feeling is that the rate of growth has slowed. You don't feel a decline out there.” Reinhart says the data shows that we clearly went through a big bubble and appear to be coming out the other side. Going forward, experts are predicting slower, more normal and healthy growth in Central Oregon.
Sad news from the High Desert Museum today. Ochoco, the Museum's beloved bobcat, died Thursday at the age of 20, apparently from liver cancer. He had been a resident at the museum since 2005. Dana Whitelaw, the Museum’s Vice President for Programs, says he was a huge draw for all visitors and there will be a real void with his passing. "He’s been with the museum since 2005, and he's been a wonderful educational ambassador here at the museum, and will be greatly missed by staff, volunteers, of course our visitors. And really was loved by thousands, who met him through the museum's Educational Wildlife Program." Whitelaw says Ochoco was one of the oldest living bobcats in captivity, and had twice as long a life span compared to cats "in the wild." She says there is no plans to obtain another bobcat; but they work closely with wildlife officials, and should an opportunity come up, they could find another bobcat.
Central Oregon Veterans Outreach has started a new program that is helping struggling veterans get jobs. The program is funded through a federal grant. The veterans reintegration program is currently working with fifty area veterans who are homeless or couch surfing. Steve Wilkes is the program's manager. “We are concentrating on getting veterans into proper mindset to go out and get a jobs and retain it. We're not interested in just surviving, but helping them retain in and stay employed for they can get a new place and become a regular member of American Society.” The program has already placed eleven area veterans in jobs, in computers, cab and restaurant work. To learn more, call Central Oregon Veterans Outreach. 541-383-2793.
A bill that helps Redmond have the largest block of industrial lands in the State has passed in the House and is now on its way to the Governor's desk. Earlier this week, we told you the bill was in jeopardy because of what's known as a 'gut and stuff' in political jargon. Democratic Representative Dave Hunt was trying to stuff one of his bills into it, which could've killed the whole thing. State Representative Jason Conger of Bend says he was glad to see the "gut and stuff" attempt blocked: “In my opinion, it was a very overtly political maneuver. It wasn't a question of policy or what's best for Oregon, I was very glad that the attempt by Dave Hunt to hijack this thing failed." The bill allows Redmond to put 465 acres of land back into its inventory of industrial lands. Supporters call it a great jobs bill for Central Oregon.
Many service employees at St. Charles are frustrated at the lack of movement on reaching a contract over the last year. Some workers filed a petition with the National Labor Relations Board to help a decertification vote to remove the union. These workers voted to unionize last year, but during the last year have been unable to reach a contract agreement with the hospital. Mel James is a nursing assistant at St. Charles. He's confident the decertification vote will go down to defeat, just as nurses at Pioneer Memorial Hospital in Prineville rejected removing their union. “I think you can draw parallels between the two. As far as a decertification vote, I’m confident the vote will fail and then like in Prineville, I hope we will see some movement on a contract like the ONA [Oregon Nurses Association] went through in Prineville. I think that's fair to say.” To go forward, 30% of union employees must want to hold a decertification vote.
The Oregon House approved the Governor's initiative to redesign the health care delivery and finance system for Oregon Health Plan patients in hopes of improving care and lowering costs. The measure allows the State to implement a plan to create coordinated care organizations that would be responsible for mental, physical and dental health of patients in their area. Right before the important vote: Kitzhaber held a news conference: "Last year this Legislature took on one of the largest budget deficits in the nation, and erased that with civility and integrity. A remarkable feat in this divided nation. Took the first steps of transforming are system of public education and health care this year we have the opportunity to move that important work forward, with the same spirit of bi-partisanship. I think at the end of the day, these are not Democratic issues or Republican issues; these are Oregon issues." Proponents hope they can stem rapidly rising health care costs by managing chronic illnesses and mental health conditions so that patients can avoid expensive emergency room visits. Opponents say they're concerned the idea isn't thoroughly vetted.
A bill that allows Redmond to put 465 acres back into their industrial inventory is in jeopardy in Salem. State Senator Chris Telfer says SB 1544 passed unanimously in the Senate and that made it attractive in the House for what is called a "Gut and Stuff" in political slang. House member Dave Hunt wants to stuff his more controversial bill into Senate Bill 1544, and Telfer says that could kill the whole thing. "So this is where you've got a good bill, job creation, it would allow Central Oregon to have the biggest inventories of industrial sites in the state, and it could get killed because of a bill that one individual wants to have, that can't even get a hearing on its own.” The land is near the Redmond Airport and many economic development leaders believe it would be very attractive to manufacturing companies to locate there.
The four finalists for Summit High School Principal met Tuesday with about four dozen students, parents and staff in a public forum. An article in the Bulletin says the finalists are Jeff Bullock, Current Principal at Klamath Union High School; Alice Dewittie, Assistant Principal at Reynolds High School; Steven Marshall, Principal at Camas High School; and Jason Wold, Vice Principal of Lakeridge High School. Officials with Bend La Pine Schools say the District expects to reach a hiring decision in the next few weeks.
Central Oregon Drug Enforcement Team
Time of Incident: 1:00 pm
Type of Incident: Methamphetamine Investigation
Location of Incident: Warm Springs Indian Reservation, Warm Springs, OR
Christian Alvarez-Rodriguez, Age 27, Beaverton, Oregon
Jose Juan Jimenez, Age 21, Beaverton, Oregon
Lacie Lee Strable, Age 30, Beaverton, Oregon
On 02/17/2012 at about 1:00 pm, Narcotics Detectives from the Warm Springs Tribal Police Department and the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, both affiliated with the Central Oregon Drug Enforcement Team (CODE), and agents with the U.S. Marshal’s Fugitive Task Force, arrested three individuals on various narcotics charges in the Indian Head Casino parking lot, which resulted in the seizure of one ounce of methamphetamine. The search of a vehicle related to those arrested revealed digital scales, additional methamphetamine and packaging materials.
Alvarez-Rodriguez and his passengers were booked into Jefferson County Jail where they face charges of Unlawful Possession, Delivery and Manufacture of Methamphetamine, and Conspiracy to Unlawfully Deliver Methamphetamine.
The Central Oregon Drug Enforcement (CODE) team is a multi-jurisdictional narcotics task force supported by the Oregon High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) program and the following Central Oregon law enforcement agencies: Bend Police Department, Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office, Redmond Police Department, Prineville Police Department, Crook County Sheriff’s Office, Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, Madras Police Department, Oregon State Police, United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Warm Springs Tribal Police Department, Deschutes, Crook, and Jefferson County District Attorney’s, and the Oregon National Guard.
The Oregon HIDTA program is an Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) sponsored counterdrug grant program that coordinates and provides funding resources to multi-agency drug enforcement task forces to disrupt or dismantle local, multi-state and international drug trafficking organizations.
The arrest of the Director of the Redmond Proficiency Academy will change some of the school's plans. The school was to expand to Salem; has this changed things? Board Chairman Patrick McKelvie: “In some ways, I think it does. Obviously, the nature of this situation causes everyone to take a step back and reassess what's going on.” So, the Salem school plans could be put on hold, but McKelvie says plans to expand the Redmond school to include middle school grades, is going forward. It will add grades 6 through 8 by next school year. The school's Director, Michael Bremont, was arrested on Saturday on charges he had sexual contact with a female student.
It appears tech giant apple is joining Facebook in Prineville. Apple just paid $5.6 million for a 160 acre parcel of land near Facebook. No local leaders would confirm it, because of non disclosure agreements, but the Prineville newspaper, the Central Oregonian, was the first to break the story. Journalist Jason Chaney wrote the story. “I kind of get a feeling of excitement about this. Regardless what happens, the County got a big chunk of money for land. Facebook has done a lot of things as a data center. And Facebook is very involved in the community and the residual economic impact. There’s an expectation about this same sort of thing.” The deed on the sale of the land was signed by Crook County Commissioners on February 15th; the very day the Oregon Senate passed legislation that removed any "surprise" taxes on those who build in enterprise zones, and are promised tax breaks.
Deschutes County Officials are beginning the process of developing a land use plan for South County, and the first step is getting residents involved. Deschutes County Senior Planner Terri Hansen Payne says they are encouraging a lot of input. "Well, South County has some unique issues, because there are so many small lots that were platted before platted before land use came to the state. And there are a lot of them are along rivers are wildlife corridors and people love it down there. We want to make sure we protect what people love." There is an open house tonight at La Pine High School at 5:30 p.m. where county officials are all ears for your suggestions and comments. Hansen Payne says they are going to have several meetings over the next few months to gather the information.
A Sherwood man was injured after crashing his snowmobile on Moon Mountain late Sunday afternoon. Wesley Montgomery, 46 of Sherwood was taken to St. Charles Bend with non-life threatening injuries. The Bulletin reports that he was trying to perform a trick when he crashed into a tree. Two US Forest Service Rangers were nearby and assisted Montgomery at the crash site.
The Bend Fire Department says a lantern caused Monday’s structure fire in a shop just north of Tumalo Junction. Fire investigators say the lantern was placed too close to combustibles in the shop. Officials say the building owner was letting a transient stay in the building and the lantern was inside a tent used for sleeping. An article in The Bulletin says the fire caused an estimated $6,000 in damage. No one was hurt in the blaze.
Officials say the Redmond Airport may soon hire a lobbyist or a consultant to help expand service. The hire could also help raise money for airport projects. The move would be part of the city’s long-term plan that includes an extension of the main runway in order to accommodate larger aircraft. An article in The Bulletin says Redmond would also like to attract more flights to and from the airport. Redmond mayor George Endicott says they’re not sure yet just what the final position description will look like.
Many automakers are showing good car sales so far in 2012. 1110 KBND’s Kelly Bleyer talked with some local car dealers if the same is true here. Chrysler and Ford both saw increases during the first month of 2012. Honda and Toyota are also on the rise. Because the average American is hanging on to their vehicles for ten to eleven years, many people are in the market. Used cars sales are doing a brisk business. Bruce Klouda is the General Manager of Lithia Motors in Bend. “With the highest demand for used cars, because people are hanging on to their cars longer, it is impacting the availability. You get supply from trade, street or action, 60% to 70% from auction. So it's highly impacted, causing a shortage of used vehicles.” Nationally, auto dealers say vehicles are staying in their lots fewer than 50 days is a good sign: demand is returning to the market.
U.S. Congressman Greg Walden of Oregon is still angry over a permit snag that prevented a Mercedes Benz commercial being filmed in Central Oregon. The ad was to be shot along the Cascades Lakes Highway with Mount Bachelor in the background. But, the Forest Service failed to issue a permit in time. “This caused us to lose $150,000, at least, in a depressed economy. Central Oregon has always been open for business and make sure the forest service gets its act together so this sot of problem doesn't happen in the future. Because of the permitting problem, the Mercedes commercial will now be shot in California.
Deschutes Brewery is getting some national attention. Forbes Magazine has compiled a list of the top ten American breweries worth a visit, and the Deschutes Brewery is number five. Owner Gary Fish is thrilled with the recognition: “Well, I think it's terrific. I haven't read the article yet, but anytime you're recognized by a national publication like that, with that kind of reach, it's great. It’s very important, very flattering, but we're not going to get carried away, still have a lot of work to do ourselves so …” The number one brewery listed was Samuel Adams in Boston, followed by Dogfish Head Craft Brewed Ales in Delaware.
Governor Kitzhaber's budget plan calls for tapping into state reserves to avoid cutting some state jobs and programs. State Representative Jason Conger believes the Governor needs to agree to an earlier bi-partisan proposal that cuts $28 million, mostly by laying off middle managers and other state employees. The Governor doesn't want the state worker layoffs to be as deep and says agencies could make cuts in other ways. "I was a little disappointed in the Governor's reaction. And I'm inclined to go back and say: We have to make these cuts; we need this money. We don't want to make further cuts in other programs, so lets find a way to do it." Kitzhaber wants to spend $13 million from the reserves to prevent the closures of a Salem area prison and other cuts to social programs. Yesterday the Governor made it clear he wants to spend down reserves to balance the budget rather than rely solely on cuts.
Organizers expect about 175 Cascade Middle School kids to brave some icy waters today; all out of love for a fellow student. Kaheawai Kaonoki - or "KK" - is a Sparrow at Cascade Middle School and kids have been raising donations to get the chance to “Shiver and Shake” and help KK pay some medical expenses.
Organizer Karen Hobbs says a Sparrow is a sick child who is supported financially by their peers.
She says some of the jumpers came from unlikely sources: "Very often you get the girls that want to be popular, and don't want to spoil their hair or their make up spoiling. And I’d say 'do you know KK?' 'Oh yeah, we love KK' 'Then why aren't you jumping? Come on, this is all about KK.' There was a table of 14 girls. One girl said 'Oh, well, give me a form.' Seven others said, 'I’ll have a form.' So you know what? This is bigger than them. It’s just a wonderful thing to do."
The Shiver and Shake begins at 12:30 p.m. at the Athletic Club of Bend and it is open to the public, if you want to go and watch and donate to a very worthy cause.
Male Walks Down Brookswood Blvd In His Underwear
Brookswood Blvd near Lone Cow Dr Bend, 02/16/2012 2:45 pm
By: Lt. Deron McMaster
Name withheld in accordance with federal law (HIPPA)
On 02/16/2012 at approximately 2:45 pm deputies from the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office responded to the area of Brookswood Blvd and Baker Rd for a report of a male walking northbound in the travel lanes of Brookswood Blvd wearing only his underwear. The male was further described as being bloody and carrying a knife.
Deputies encountered the male walking in the middle of Brookswood near Lone Cow Dr. Deputies ordered the male to stop and he eventually complied with the commands. The male was taken into custody without further incident. The male was found to be in possession of a cigarette and a lighter at the time the deputies stopped the male. The blood was determined to be the male’s own blood.
Elk Meadow Elementary School was locked down at the request of the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office as a precaution based on the initial information given to deputies responding to the call. The school was in lock down for approximately ten minutes.
No charges have been filed against the male.
The Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office was assisted by the Bend Police Department, the Oregon State Police and the Bend Fire Department.
No other information will be released regarding this incident.
Children forced into the sex trafficking trade could soon have a way to "wipe the slate clean." House Bill 4146, co-sponsored by Jason Conger, provides for juveniles who have been convicted of prostitution or other sex trafficking crimes to have their records expunged when they turn 18. "Once they are adults and they are out of the sex trade, they can start over. They can get rid of that record in their history. Obviously they can't get rid of the mental anguish and the other issues that come with that. But at least their criminal record will be clean. And then when they try to start over and get a job as an adult, they don't have a criminal record hanging over them." Conger says most Oregonians don't realize how big, and what a problem sex trafficking is. The bill passed the House today and now goes on to the Senate.
A bill that creates a new clearinghouse for information relating to lead poisoning has cleared one hurdle in the Oregon Legislature. Representative Jason Conger of Bend co-carried House Bill 4105 that passed in the House on Monday. Conger says the bill requires the Oregon Health Authority to unify and make available on their website, information about and preventative measures when building or remodeling K-12 structures. "To particularly schools, to help the schools, especially maintenance staff or people who are doing renovations in schools, again, know what to look for, understand what the consequences lead poisoning can be and have some information about what to do about it if they have a problem." Conger says he is passionate about this bill because he knows first hand what can happen when a child is exposed to lead poisoning. When his daughter was a baby; she had a false-positive test for lead poisoning, and Conger did extensive research into the problem and the solutions. The bill goes to the Senate next week.
Central Oregon’s Maragas Winery wins six medals at this year’s San Francisco Chronicle wine competition. That event was held last month in Cloverdale, California. Winery owner Doug Maragas says they submitted all of their current releases, and they all medaled. An article in the Bulletin says, for the second consecutive year, the dessert wine "Central Oregon Tootsie", won a silver medal.
Northwest Nazarene University wants to expand to Central Oregon. According to the Bulletin, leaders of the Idaho-based religious university say they have, on multiple occasions, visited sites in Bend and Redmond. Bill Russell, the University’s Executive Director of Community Relations, says they’re now looking for local partnerships to help offset the cost of setting up in the region. Russell says they think Central Oregon needs a private, four-year university with graduate programs.
A familiar name in Central Oregon has declared his candidacy for Oregon House District 55, currently held by Mike McLane. La Pine resident John Huddle says he believes that too many legislators are swayed by big corporations and lobbyists. "We don't need the legislators in there that are going around the established laws to craft bills. They need to be out talking to the people. They need to be dealing with issues that are important to the local people. And not catering to big corporations that want to come in with their special interests."Huddle says he wants to restore communication and leadership of the people, by the people and for the people. Huddle previously ran against Gene Whisnant for District 53 back in 2012, but the new district boundary puts him in McLane's district now. District 55 is one of Oregon's largest, geographically, that includes all of Crook, Eastern and Southern Deschutes, North Lake and Klamath and northeast Jackson counties.
A popular snow park southwest of Bend will gain it's original name, Wanoga Sno-Park, after learning it's new name, Frank Ellis Sno-Park, celebrated a convicted sex offender. Frank Ellis, a founding member of the Oregon State Snowmobile Association, spent about 40 year volunteering as a snowmobile trial groomer for about 40 years and was very active in the community. Jean Nelson-Dean, a spokesperson for the Deschutes National Forest says when they decided to rename the park after Ellis' death, they had no idea he was convicted of sexually abusing his granddaughter in 1986. “We found out information that we didn't have about his previous conviction as a sex offender, and some of the circumstances surrounding that. And so out of respect for his victims family, we just immediately are moving forward with having the name Wanoga restated for that area. So that whole area will become Wanoga again." Nelson-Dean says they have removed all signage and anything that refers to Frank Ellis. She says in the future, they will carefully consider all requests to dedicate forest areas to any one individual.
Senators in Salem on Monday voted 30 to 0 in favor of a bill that allows Redmond to re-zone a 465 acre parcel back to its original "industrial" zone.
The zoning was changed when leaders were considering the spot for the County Fairgrounds. State Seantor Chris Telfer says this zone change will mean that Redmond will have the most industrial inventory in the state. The bill is expected to easily pass in the House.
Rexford was just selected to head up the High Desert Education Service District. Rexford says he's excited about the new challenge, but will miss the people he works with on a daily basis. He is repalcing Dr. Dennis Dempsey who is retiring. He'll take over on July 1st.
62 pounds of processed marijuana is seized after the Deschutes County Sheriff's Office make a traffic stop that led them to the pot. The arrest of Mark Joseph Wirges, Junior, 34, of Bend began Thursday afternoon on Highway 97, just south of Deschutes Junction. The Sheriffs report says the investigation during the stop led police to a storage unit containing large bags of the pot, worth about $180,000. Wirges is held in the Deschutes County jail on $50,000 bail.
Male stabbed during fight
BLM land north of Coyner (Redmond)
BY: Sergeant Troy Gotchy
Victim: Frisbee, Kevin Anthony 20 years of age
Arrested: Mitchell, Tyler Shane 18 years of age
Unlawful Use of a Weapon
On 02/11/12 at approximately 0026 hours, Deputies were dispatched to St. Charles Medical Center in Redmond for a stabbing. Staff at the hospital advised a male, later identified as Kevin Frisbee, had been brought into their facility with stab wounds. Frisbee was contacted at the hospital, and identified the suspect as Tyler Mitchell.
Mitchell later met Deputies south of the hospital, and was taken into custody without incident. During the course of the investigation, it was learned there had been a physical fight between Mitchell and Frisbee on BLM land north of Coyner Avenue. Frisbee was stabbed during the fight, and taken to the hospital by friends. The reason for the fight is still under investigation.
Mitchell was lodged at the Deschutes County Jail for the above listed charges. Frisbee was treated at St. Charles in Redmond and later released. The Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office was assisted in this investigation by the Redmond Police Department.
Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to contact the Sheriff’s Office at 541-693-6911.
Tara Goad's Youth Pastor says she'll be remembered as a vibrant and loving teenager, who had a special love for young children. Tara was killed in a tragic car crash on Monday morning, her service is at 4 p.m. this afternoon in Redmond at the Highland Baptist Church.
Hundreds of friends and family are expected to attend the service. Many will share memories and celebrate Tara Goad's life. “She’s so vibrant, and so fun, and just so full of life.” Kyle Heinze was her youth pastor for several years. He's giving the main message: “I know she had talked to one of her friends that one of the main things she wanted to be life, was a mom, and she was just phenomenal with kids.”
He says he’s never had to preside over a service for s young teen. “It’s a sad first for me. I’ve preached funeral services before, but they were for older people, and death’s that people see coming.” Heinze says he’ll talk about her life and will remind people that she’s now in a better place. “How she’s finally Home- with a capital “H.” Tomorrow in Prineville there's a service for Tirisa Tucker, 15, who also died in Monday’s tragic crash.
A Bend financial advisor says there isn't much of a reaction in the markets to an austerity plan unveiled in Greece. Fox News is reporting today that Germany's Finance Minister questioned whether the deal goes far enough to earn a crucial $130 billion bailout. Tyler Simones with Northwest Quadrant Wealth Management in Bend says the situation with Greece seems to already be priced into the market, but Greece will probably continue to make financial headlines for much of 2012: "We are now very interconnected and so nobody really knows where everything lies and there's worry that some of our banks have exposure to that Greek debt and that could be a problem to them.” Simones agrees with Chase Bank President Jamie Dimon who believes the impact from big problems in Greece will be minimal.
Its a huge grant headed to Warm Springs...The Warm Springs housing authority has received a grant of more than 1.5 million dollars from the US dept of Housing and Urban Development. The money will go toward housing development, housing services, crime prevention and safety. The funds hope to promote affordable housing in the area. Seven other tribes in Oregon received grants, of which totaled almost 14 million dollars.
The Republican race continues its surprises. When Rick Santorum won in all three state contests on Tuesday. OSU Cascades Political Science Professor Jim Foster feels its become a two man race between Romney and Santorum. “Fairly clearly, the Republican Party is not happy with Mitt Romney. They may be happier with Rick Santorum on ideological and political grounds, but their overriding concern is beating Obama in the fall. You could call it their obsession. So the Republican Party has a real dilemma on its hands.” Foster believes Gingrich is out of the running, and Republicans have to decide which candidate a majority of them will throw their support behind. The next races are three weeks away in Michigan and Arizona, where Romney is expected to do well.
Deschutes County Commissioner Alan Unger says it would've been nice to have both the Leadman and the Ironman come to Central Oregon. But last week, supporters who want to bring the Ironman Triathlon to Central Oregon backed off, after Leadman organizers objected to an event on or near the same weekend of their event. Commissioner Unger says the County played more of a supportive role rather than pushing for either race. "But I think the biggest thing was the groups that were organizing both of these needed to work better together. Visit Bend, COVA, those kind of groups would’ve worked it out before it came to us.” KBND: “So, what did we learn? Better communication?” Unger: “Yes. And I think we need to realize there are Bend centric events and Central Oregon events and we all need to understand that they are both out there and they are both important.” The Leadman attracts about 250 athletes; and the Ironman draws in ten times that amount. Unger was a guest this morning on 1110 KBND's “Your Town.”
After a 16 month long search, the DMV says they are staying put in their facility on the north side of Bend. ODOT spokesman Dave Thompson says they did a lot of math and realized that doing an upgrade to the building will be cheaper in the long run, compared to signing a 10 to 15 year lease at another location. “I freely admit this took us a long time. And I'm sure many people in Bend are wondering why it took us so long to reach what they think was a foregone conclusion, but to make it a foregone conclusion we had to do the home-work and we had to do it right to be fair to everybody." Thompson says it will cost about $1.5 million to renovate the current building and parking lot. Bend's DMV Field Offices moved to the former Visitors Center several years ago after their lease ran out in a building on SW Emkay Drive.
Are you struggling about what to get your loved one for Valentines Day? It's that time of year when you can do something very unique: send them a Val-O-Gram from the Bend High Choir. Spokesperson Kamari Otto says you have until Monday to make your reservation for a small group of singers to visit your Valentine with a song, flower and candy. “It’s really fun because the people that get them don't actually know about it. And sometimes people really get into it. It’s really fun and Valentine's Day is always such a happy, nice holiday too." Otto says the Val-O-Grams are $20, and you can make your reservation at their website: www.Bendhighchoir.com, call Bend High. (541-355-3700).
National Geographic Adventure says Bend is one of the best ski towns in the world. The National Geographic website just included Bend on the list of the world’s 25 best; ranking them with international sites such as Kitzbuhel, Austria and Banff, Canada , and domestic destinations like Park City, Utah and Aspen, Colorado. The article includes tips on where to stay, where to eat and so on. Hall-of fame surfer and 20-year Bend resident Gerry Lopez did the write up for National Geographic.
Students from outside the Bend La Pine School District could soon have an easier time transferring in. The School Board Tuesday unanimously approved a new district transfer policy. A new state law requires each of the state’s school districts to decide by March 1st how many student transfers it will accept. Deputy Superintendent John Rexford says preference will be given to transfer students already attending a district school and their siblings. He says Bend La Pine, Sisters and Redmond will all have similar policies and have generally allowed students to easily transfer between districts.
People in Redmond mourn the loss of two teenage girls who died Monday in a three-car crash on Highway 97. Police say that Tara Goad, 16, and Tirisa Tucker, 15, were killed in the accident. Both girls had been students at the Redmond Proficiency Academy, Tucker had recently transferred from the Academy to Redmond High School. District spokesman Jon Bullock says grief counselors will be at both schools today. "First and foremost, our hearts go out to the families of these 2 girls and we wish them all the peace and comfort possible at a time like this.” Redmond Police say freezing fog may have played a role. Captain Brian McNaughton says the scene of the crash was a tough place to be. “It’s always traumatic when a young person loses their life like that; and with two its doubly so.” McNaughton says the investigation will probably take about a week.
Statement from Redmond High School
"Our community experienced a great loss today as two Redmond School District students ; Tara Goad, a junior at the Redmond Proficiency Academy, and Tirisa Tucker, a freshman who recently transferred to Redmond High School from the Redmond Proficiency Academy, died from injuries sustained in a multiple vehicle accident this morning on Highway 97 in north Redmond. Three other Redmond High School Students in a separate vehicle were also involved in the three-car accident and were transported to St. Charles Medical Center for treatment for non-life threatening injuries. This crash is still under investigation. Road conditions included freezing fog and may have played a role in this crash."
There are signs of life in the local real estate market. Darren Powderly with Compass Commercial Real Estate says retail space in the Bend area is doing especially well. “The vacancy rate for the retail sector is 8.2% and that is a healthy range. Anything between 6% to 8%.” While Bend is doing better, Redmond still has room for improvement. Redmond's industrial vacancy rate is nearly 28%. Powderly says bank owned properties continue to drag down local housing prices, but admits you can get some great deals right now.
Deschutes County Commissioners are watching lawmakers to see if they'll pass legislation that will bring "shovel ready" jobs to the area. Senate Bill 1544 would exempt 465 acres of industrial land near the Redmond Airport from certain transportation requirements and access standards. Deschutes County Commissioner Tammy Baney explains: “This allows us to apply different standards that give certainty to that process, versus the current standards where they are on the ground today. So it helps give certainty versus going through a process that may not allow for that at the end of the day." Baney says two other bills they are monitoring would reform health care and streamline agencies that govern early learning programs in Oregon.
Dr. Knute Buehler, who is running for Secretary of State will be in Madras tonight, talking with voters on his priorities for the office. Dr. Buehler will be speaking to the Jefferson County Republicans. “Yeah, we're really talking about getting Oregon to work. We need our politics and government services to be more accountable and in solving some people's problems. That's long overdue.” Dr. Buehler will be speaking at the Rodriquez Library Annex in Madras tonight, starting at 7 p.m.
We’re starting to see some more encouraging local numbers in the real estate market. Foreclosures are going down, but we're not out of the woods yet. Kip Lohr with Lohr Real Estate specializes in short sales, gives us his take on the upcoming year. “Well, I'd love to tell you I see good news on the horizon. But in the short term, the next year or so, there is still downward pressure on home prices and there are still a lot of depressed and distressed properties out there, that are pushing prices down.” Lohr says his firm handles about 800 to 900 short sales a year, and he expects that same number again this year.
The Central Oregon theater community is mourning the loss of a great director and actor. Pat Kmiec died of a massive heart attack Wednesday night. He was directing the upcoming production of "Gina Galdi and Guest" at Second Street Theatre. The playwright of the show, Cricket Daniel says Pat will be missed: “He was just almost childlike. He just loved the theater; he loved actors. He was an actor. We were in a show together at Second Street called "Tuna Christmas." He was just a wonderful, sweet man who loved the theater; it was his life.” Kmiec was born and raised in Chicago, and had lived in Bend for about 14 years. His latest show will go on, in his honor. One of the actors will direct the show.
Congressman Greg Walden is taking issue with the Federal Aviation Administrations' proposed budget change what could cost taxpayers more. In a letter to the U.S. Office of Management and Budget, Walden objects to a proposed elimination of the Contract Tower Program. The program used at many smaller airports like Redmond, Klamath Falls and Medford uses contracted licensed private air traffic controllers instead of government employees at about half the cost. Walden says with all Americans learning to do more with less it does not make sense to eliminate the contract tower program and employ FAA employees costing substantially more. Currently, there are 246 airports nationwide, including six in Oregon that will be affected by the change. Those 246 towers handle about 27% of all domestic tower operations while accounting for just 9% of the FAA's overall budget.
The Indianhead Casino will open its doors to the public Saturday at 6 p.m. The new casino that sits on Highway 26 in Warm Springs is expected to be a real economic boon to the area. Warm Springs Economic Director Jeff Anspaugh says they have high hopes about its economic impact. “It's kind of like that a rising tide lifts all boats concept. If we can leverage the location on Highway 26 in term of revenue and jobs. It’s casino is from KahNeeTa. It’s going to have a tremendous impact on the Reservation but also in Central Oregon. Anspaugh says the casino will be have 500 slot machines and 8 blackjack tables.
Greg Walden announces Telephone Town Hall for Wednesday, February 8
WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.) today announced that he will hold a Telephone Town Hall discussion on Wednesday, February 8, from 5:30-6:30 pm PST.
Rep. Walden will answer questions from residents of Oregon’s Second District on a variety of topics, including ways to get job creation going in southern, central, and eastern Oregon. He held a Telephone Town Hall on January 22; one of many ways he keeps in close touch with the residents of Oregon’s Second District.
Constituents who would like to ensure that they receive a call may RSVP for the Telephone Town Hall by contacting Rep. Walden’s office toll-free at (800) 533-3303 or by sending a note through his website here
WHO: U.S. Rep. Greg Walden
WHAT: Telephone Town Hall discussion with Oregon’s Second District residents
WHEN: 5:30-6:30 p.m., Wednesday, February 8, 2012
Hwy 20W Sisters
02/03/2012 12:21 am
By: Lt. Deron McMaster
Tadjiki, Darius Jamshid, 36, Sisters
On 02/02/2012 at approximately 11:55 pm the deputies from the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office were dispatched to a report of a fight in front of Hardtails located at 175 N. Larch St in Sisters. The suspect in the fight, Tadjiki, left the scene in a red Nissan pickup prior to the arrival of the deputies. Deputies made an initial search of the area and did not locate Tadjiki. Approximately 25 minutes later, the Sheriff’s Office received an additional call from Hardtails that Tadjiki was back. Tadjiki then left the bar again, this time stealing two pool balls from a table.
Deputies responded back to Hardtails looking for Tadjiki. The first deputy to arrive in the area spotted Tadjiki driving the red Nissan pickup southbound on Larch St in front of Hardtails without any lights on. The deputy turned on his overhead lights attempting to get Tadjiki to pull over and stop. Tadjiki accelerated away from the deputy running the stop sign at Larch St and Cascade almost causing a collision with a vehicle travelling eastbound of Cascade.
Tadjiki led deputies on a pursuit eastbound out of the City of Sisters on Hwy 20W that reached speeds of 90 to 100 mph. The pursuit covered approximately 6 miles and ended when Tadjiki stopped his vehicle in the middle of Hwy 20 near Cascade Estates Dr. Tadjiki exited his pickup with his hands up and gave himself up to deputies. Deputies took Tadjiki into custody at that time. When Tadjiki exited his vehicle, he did not put the transmission in park and the vehicle rolled forward onto the north shoulder where the vehicle struck a barbed wire fence.
Tadjiki was arrested and lodged in the Deschutes County Adult Jail on the following charges. Attempt to Elude, Felony, Reckless Driving, Theft 3, Assault on a Public Safety Officer, DUII, and Assault 4.
The Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office was assisted in this incident by the Black Butte Police Department, the Oregon State Police and the Bend Police Department.
How to bring more visitors into downtown Bend is just one of the objectives that the Downtown Bend Business Association wants to address this year. Executive Director, Chuck Arnold says they are proposing a new rate of $.18 per square foot in every business to help pay for improvements, maintenance and promoting in the downtown area. "Our goal, going into 2012 & 2013 fiscal year, is to really work to market and brand downtown with locals. And really invite locals to come back down and enjoy and experience downtown, especially those that have not been coming downtown. So we're really looking at doing a comprehensive marketing campaign, and that's what the adjustment of the rate really seeks to accomplish." Arnold says many of the 375 businesses are clearly on board with the proposed new rate that would only add about $3, on average, each month. He says there will be a public hearing in the March and May City Council meetings; and upon approval will take effect in June.
Several investigations surrounding Deschutes County District Attorney Patrick Flaherty continue. He's under investigation for misconduct by the Oregon State Bar and the Oregon State Police. Deschutes County Commissioner Tammy Baney admits the last year has been a tumultuous one, but thinks the office is functioning well regardless. “Right now, I don't see where that is causing a bottleneck. But on our side, there is hope for a resolution to the myriad of issues facing the District Attorney. But right now, the office is function quite well.” Investigators hope to decide in the next couple of weeks whether to proceed with a criminal case of misconduct against Flaherty.
New snowpack numbers are in: the USDA relieved to see Oregon’s numbers have nearly doubled over the past couple weeks. Statewide, Oregon is now 70% of average; 95% on Mount Hood. Regional Snow Survey Director Jon Lea says Washington State is just above average, but Nevada is below average. Lea says he hopes to see more precipitation in Oregon’s southern counties.
Rob Cornilles took opponents and the media to task for what he calls an unfair portrayal of how he supports women. Cornilles also says he is disappointed his job creating record was criticized for alleged exaggerations. But during his concession speech, he also asked supporters to congratulate Bonimici on her win.
It will be several months before we know the results of the homeless count taken in Central Oregon last week. One segment of the homeless population local organizers expect will be down, is homeless veterans. A Housing Voucher Program through the Veterans Administration is helping put a dent in the numbers. Kenny LaPoint with Housing Works helps administer the vouchers. “I had spoken with some service providers who had gone out to the camps and they say they've seen quite a few less veterans at the homeless camps. And they attribute it to the Veteran’s Affairs supporting housing vouchers program. We've received 50 of those within the last twelve months.” Last year the homeless count included about 100 homeless vets. The Voucher Program help take about half of them off the streets.
A Bend financial advisor says he's been getting calls from people who want to get in on the Facebook Initaial Public Offering (IPO). Facebook is announcing its intentions to do an initial public offering that could raise as much as $10 billion and put the company's total value at around $100 billion. Troy Reinhart with Northwest Quadrant Wealth Management says there is often a lot of hype surrounding IPO's so sometimes the shares are quickly overvalued. “Buyer beware. I know we’ve gotten lots of clients out there wanting to know how to get in touch with Facebook. And the answer is: you’re not going to get a hold of Facebook shares, until they are in the after-market. And then you, as an investor have to be careful that you’re not just trading on emotion.” This will mark the sixth largest U.S. IPO ever, and the 15th largest IPO in global history.